- I never missed a day, always went live at 12:01 AM
- Blogging every day exposed me to a huge number of new blog visitors
- I visited many blogs I probably never would have otherwise visited–blogs on genealogy, the 80’s, children’s books, short story and poetry authors, writing and reading enthusiasts, knitting and quilting, wine-tasting, etc.
- Never satisfied with my own blog, I loved looking at the artistic and functional aspects of others’ blogs. Those credits bloggers often have at the bottom of their blog pages? I click on those and visit the design geniuses behind them.
- Many of my visitors subscribed to my blog, something I never pushed but was extremely thankful for.
- The challenge coincided with my debut novel’s release so I was able to marry info about the book and its release with the challenge in what I hope wasn’t too obnoxious a manner (see cons section for the flip side of this).
- The discipline of regular posting was reinforced.
- My blog traffic was off the charts–more than double the traffic than in my previous highest month.
- I met some wonderful new bloggers!!
- WordPress’s (and Blogger’s) ability to schedule posts is awesome!
- Several bloggers really impressed me with their master plans for the month, posts that followed a uniform theme, vs. my hodge-podge approach.
The Less Good / Not Good
- I was on vacation or out of town on business for a week and a half of April on two separate trips. I prepped ahead of time where I could but sometimes it was pretty hectic writing and prepping against a looming deadline.
- I had manuscript edits unexpectedly arrive in my inbox, and they commanded time I’d have rather spent visiting blogs.
- I did not visit nearly as many blogs as I’d have hoped or what was suggested.
- Many of my blog posts were piggybacks of blog tour stops, basically reroutes of my traffic to others’ blogs.
- I was sad whenever I clicked on a few links in the first few days only to find no A to Z posts at all. I guess they changed their minds about participating.
- Sometimes the current day’s A to Z post was difficult to find on very busy blogs. (Suggest a separate A to Z blog page / tab with an index to the posts.)
- Commenting on Blogger (vs. WordPress) posts has always challenging for this WordPress gal, and unfortunately, most of the A to Z’ers had Blogger blogs. I finally gave up and commented using my google account and a dummy Blogger blog I set up. This made commenting easier (Re-Captcha / Captcha issues aside which is a whole ‘nother gripe) but made linking back to my blog very indirect. Many I visited and read but didn’t bother commenting because of the hassle of it.
- I wished there had been some sort of index categorizing the blogs. I’d hit one and think, “Oh, I think I’ll revisit that one again.” Only I never subscribed or wrote down the name. I usually only remembered the nature of the post I read and liked. I’d have sought out a few that were different from what I was used to reading if there had been some sort of guide like when we first signed up.
- Because my debut novel released during the A to Z window (April 16th), I feel in my heart like I was a very selfish blogger, though in my head I know I did the best I could with the hours I had. I really did try to at least pay a return visit to all my visitors.
- I wished I’d visited the A to Z Challenge blog more often than I did to read more about the goings on of the whole.
Would I do the Blogging A to Z Challenge again and more specifically, next year?
Thank you to everyone who visited me either by landing here or via subscription (RSS or email or Networked blogs).
- Since You Asked by Dawn Sticklen
- A to Z reflections #atozchallenge (notesinabook.wordpress.com)
- A to Z reflections (randomsays.com)
- A to Z: Reflections Post from The Other Side blog (timbrannan.blogspot.com)